Now I get to set up my life for the long term
September 23, 2009 5:22 PM   Subscribe

I moved from home to Los Angeles two months ago. Now that I'm more or less settled in logistically, I would like to begin building a life for myself out here.

I'm 23 and moved to new cities six times growing up, so I am used to relocating. But every time, there was always a built-in structure to rely on--usually school. This time I get a sense that things are open-ended.

I have several friends out here I can spend time with, and professionally I have several ways to spend my time. I know part of the solution is finding people with interests similar to mine and hanging out with them. So I'm not in panic mode and am not going to be. For once, I can look forward to some stability! But I thought I'd put it to the hive mind to see what your experiences have been like, and whether you have any unusual ideas.
posted by world b free to Human Relations (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'll just be the first one to say: more information needed. What do you like? What sort of thing are you into? Are you sporty, intellectual, nature-y, a foodie, and/or fill-in-the-blank?

For my boyfriend, when we moved to the LA area, finding a regular pick-up ultimate frisbee game was key to meeting new people and long-term happiness, but I have no idea if that's the sort of thing you'd be into.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 5:36 PM on September 23, 2009

I know part of the solution is finding people with interests similar to mine and hanging out with them.

I never really understood that advice. Very few of my friends actually share the same "interests" as I do. That's what makes them interesting.

Anyway! An unusual idea? Be alone, while you can. When you grow older, when you are wealthier and more obligated, you'll be surprised, looking back, how much time you really had.
posted by trotter at 6:22 PM on September 23, 2009

What side of town are you on? The left side? That's the Crip side.

I mean, I live on the West Side. I like going to art openings, the Mar Vista farmer's market, and long walks on the beach. Oh, and meet-ups with MeFites and playing four- and two-square. I am the motherfucking bomb at some two-square and will gladly play at any time.

Rally scoring, no grandfather clocks, bus stops or spinners.

I will say that LA is pretty hard to meet people accidentally in—it's just more diffuse. And friends who move across the city, well, they've got to be pretty awesome people to see regularly. Casual card-playing buddies have moved away from here to the valley and I've never seen them again (they was eaten by a Grue).

But yeah, where are you and what do you like to do?
posted by klangklangston at 6:31 PM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hey guys. Let's see...

Right now I'm in good ol' Koreatown, although I do make it to Silver Lake/Los Feliz quite a bit to see people. I'm sporty and intellectual, I'd say, and an ultimate club sounds pretty great. That's something to think about.

I should say, too, that part of the issue is a lot of the people I know out here I went to school with, and none of us ever became real good friends. So I'm looking to meet some new people.

But ultimately what I'm sensing is, building up another social network, is going to take a while. What have your experiences been?
posted by world b free at 8:42 PM on September 23, 2009

For ultimate games, LAout has some actual leagues, while you can find pick up games here: LAout.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 9:09 PM on September 23, 2009

I moved to a new city a few years ago, planning -- for the first time in my life -- on settling down. Most of the friends I've made here, and the real sense of community I'm getting, is from volunteering a co-op preschool. I'm guessing you don't have kids, but if you can find an local organization you want to make a long-term commitment to it can help you set down roots.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:22 AM on September 24, 2009

Craigslist can be a decent place to meet people; sort of like blind dates for friends. I've had a couple of those go quite well (I'm 25, by the way, and just getting settled for good post-school). Clubs of various sorts can be good; I brew beer, and I've made some friends through that. Same deal with kayaking. It may be worth seeking out professional associations too. For example, the local bar association has a young lawyers division. I haven't met any BFF's through it yet, but I've met some good people there. And hey, networking.

Couchsurfing can be a good resource if you're open to hosting other people on your couch; you'll meet some good people from out of town, and many local group chapters have weekly meetings.

Another option would be to host a party, invite the scattered friends you do have in town, and ask them all to bring at least one friend who you don't know. I've generally found the friends of my friends to be good people, or at least they're somewhat compatible with me. It's an easy, albeit gimmicky, way to build up your social circle.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:25 AM on September 24, 2009

I'm in santa monica, so I can't be too specific about places to go, but here's some general advice from my experience - I moved from boston 5 years ago when I was 22.

Los Angeles is a working city, and as such most people out and about are professionals. It's easy to find/create a happy-hour after-work kind of crowd. These will be cliquey and boozy, but it can be a good way to network and meet people. They will be older, though, probably the 27-35 range. Almost every social experience I've had here has been in a bar or club, I'm semi-sorry to say.

Stuff like pickup games are a good way to meet people, but people will be flaky if you make plans with them outside. Follow up and be persistent.

If drinking's not your thing, then try scouring the internet for activities, meetings, volunteer opportunites. Show up to them, don't be afraid if 80% of them are poorly attended and lame.

Do not, I repeat, do not get into a serious relationship.

Lastly, metafilter meetups are generally fun and I've heard good things about events (but they all usually happen at a bar, do you see the pattern?)

Good luck! Hit me up for anything more specific.
posted by milinar at 11:03 AM on September 24, 2009

Look up locals on Twitter and follow the interesting ones and strike up online conversations with them and look for opportunities to meet them in person at "Tweetups" (or, once you have a lot of local Twitter friends, organize a Tweetup yourself).
posted by Jacqueline at 1:05 AM on September 26, 2009

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